The Ankeny School School Board approved on Monday evening allocating $131,333 to 122 certified staff members who will not receive a $1,000 bonus via Gov. Kim Reynolds’ teacher retention initiative.
According to Ankeny’s latest annual progress report, the district has 863 certified teachers.
In her Condition of the State address, Reynolds announced she was giving teachers who stayed on through the pandemic and will continue teaching next year a $1,000 bonus using federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) funds.
The disbursement of the funds is being handled by the Iowa Department of Education. The bonuses are for “qualifying teachers at public schools, accredited nonpublic schools, independently accredited nonpublic schools, and state-operated schools.”
Qualifying teachers are educators who started by Oct. 1, 2021, and whose contract does not expire until June 30, 2022. Additionally, the teacher cannot have taught virtually during this period; the bonus only goes to teachers who taught full-time and in-person.
However, if a teacher was placed on administrative leave and they are reinstated by June 30, they are still eligible to receive a bonus.
While Ankeny will provide a $1,000 bonus to its certified staff who weren’t eligible to receive a bonus from Reynolds—about 14% of district teachers—some non-certified staff told Ankeny school officials they felt left out.
“Those emails were hard to read,” said Ankeny school board member Amy Tagliareni. “When it said, ‘I’ve been let down by the governor and now I’m going to be let down by my school,’ they’re not wrong, unfortunately.
“And, so, anything we can examine to see if we can make something work—within reason—I would just try to encourage us to do that. Even if it’s not right now, even if it’s something moving forward, we can try to figure out something.”
UPDATE (March 8, 2023, 7:30 a.m.): This story has been updated with the correct source of a quote from the board meeting.
by Ty Rushing
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